Thomas Hovenden, Study of a Girl for “A Brenton Interior"

Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill, 2018
4 x 4 ¼ in.

After he completed his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Thomas Hovenden lived and painted in an artist colony in Pont-Aven, France. His work during this period largely focused on images of the peasants of Pont-Aven in domestic interiors. 

Hovenden made this study of a Breton girl for the painting A Breton Interior. In the finished work, this figure helps to convey the themes of family, tradition, and loyalty as she watches her grandmother mold bullets over hot charcoal for soldiers during the Wars of the Vendée (1793–96).

A Breton Interior was exhibited at the Paris International Exposition in 1878. The French firm Goupil & Company bought the reproduction rights shortly afterward and distributed engraved copies of the work.

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